Night Ninja (Retro Software) Review | - Everygamegoing

Everygamegoing


Night Ninja
By Retro Software
BBC B/B+/Master 128

Night Ninja

It's been over two decades since a new Beeb game came along which I genuinely really loved. Night Ninja offers the player that infuriatingly addictive quality which, like Chuckie Egg and Tetris, means that he just cannot resist one more go.

The concept is simple - a one-screen, no scrolling platform game featuring a Samurai's quest to collect up lanterns. One lantern is always somewhere on the screen, another appears when you run into it. However little black devils spill rhymically onto the screen regularly from each direction. You can jump these or swing your sword toward them but, whatever you do, don't come into contact with them. Contact equals instant death and, no matter how far you have progressed in the game, no matter how many sheets of platforms you have cleared, you're booted right back to the beginning of sheet one with the exclamation 'DEAD!' and a screen full of statistics.

Night Ninja is done in Mode 2, and so the full palette of colours is available, and its blocky graphics are superbly animated. What's particularly noteworthy about this game is that it doesn't really seem to increase in difficulty as it progresses - well, not in any sort of traditional sense - your inevitable failure, each and every time you play, stems mostly from your own realisation that you've just got a little bit further, and it's usually this very moment that distracts you for just that fraction of a second needed to find a black devil dropping onto your head.

Really we can only dream of the cult status that Night Ninja might have achieved if released back in 1983. This might well be my BBC Game Of The Year for the next two decades. It really will take some beating.

Dave E

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